‘Pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.’
School Attendance – Departmental Advice August 2013
The Importance of Good Attendance
In recent years a lot of research has been carried out on the importance of good attendance and the effect that poor attendance can have on children’s attainment and their future life chances. For example, 90% attendance might sound quite acceptable but what that means in reality is:
•on average half a day’s school missed every week
•in one year four whole weeks of schooling missed
•in five years half of a school year missed.
•a GCSE grade drop in attainment in each subject.
At Old Sarum Primary School, the classroom doors open at 8:40 am and Attendance Registers are taken at 9 am and close at 9.20am. Pupils who are not present for registration are marked as absent initially. If a child then arrives before 9:20 am, this will be changed to ‘present but late’. Any pupil arriving after 9:20 am will be marked with an unauthorised mark, unless there is another reason for the late arrival, for example a medical appointment.
Persistent lateness is followed up, by a meeting between the Safeguarding and Attendance officer and the family to ascertain reasons and explain the impact of the lateness.
What Can Parents Do To Help?
- If you feel that your child is unhappy at school please speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance. This will ensure that we can work together quickly to solve any issues before they become an obstacle to attendance.
- Ensure that your child attends school regularly, arrives on time, follows the uniform guidelines and brings the necessary equipment for the day.
- Talk with your child about the importance of good attendance at school and how it can affect their future.
- If at all possible try to keep medical appointments outside of the school day, inform the school well in advance if this is not possible.
- Only grant days at home for genuine illness – you know your child.
- Do not take your child on holiday during term time.
- Praise and reward good attendance.
- Report your child’s absence if they are too poorly to attend. Please contact the school before 9:00am. Please do this for each day your child is absent (unless you have informed us that s/he has been signed off by a doctor for an extended period of time). If you are unable to call the school then please email Attendance@oldsarum.wilts.sch.uk